Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers.
ABSTRACT: The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.
Project description:Methoxyfenozide is an insect growth regulator (IGR) commonly used in agriculture to simultaneously control pests and preserve beneficial insect populations; however, its impact on honey bees in not fully understood. We conducted field and laboratory experiments to investigate bee health in response to field-relevant concentrations of this pesticide. Significant effects were observed in honey bee colony flight activity and thermoregulation after being exposed over 9 weeks to supplemental protein patty containing methoxyfenozide. Compared to bee colonies in the control group, colonies fed pollen patty with 200 ppb methoxyfenozide (as measured by residue analysis) had: 1) a significantly reduced rate of weight loss due to forager departure in the morning; and 2) higher temperature variability during the winter. Colonies in the 100 ppb (as measured by residue analysis) treatment group had values between the 200 ppb group and control for both response variables. The dusk break point, which is the time associated with the end of forager return, differed among all treatment groups but may have been confounded with direction the hives were facing. Bee colony metrics of adult bee mass and brood surface area, and measurements of bee head weight, newly-emerged bee weight, and hypopharyngeal gland size were not significantly affected by methoxyfenozide exposure, suggesting that there may be significant effects on honey bee colony behavior and health in the field that are difficult to detect using standard methods for assessing bee colonies and individuals. The second experiment was continued into the following spring, using the same treatment groups as in the fall. Fewer differences were observed among groups in the spring than the fall, possibly because of abundant spring forage and consequent reduced treatment patty consumption. Residue analyses showed that: 1) observed methoxyfenozide concentrations in treatment patty were about 18-60% lower than the calculated concentrations; 2) no residues were observed in wax in any treatment; and 3) methoxyfenozide was detected in bee bread only in the 200 ppb treatment group, at about 1-2.5% of the observed patty concentration.
Project description:There is growing number of studies demonstrating a close relationship between insect gut microbiota and insecticide resistance. However, the contribution of the honey bee gut microbiota to host detoxification ability has yet to be investigated. In order to address this question, we compared the expression of cytochrome P450s (P450s) genes between gut microbiota deficient (GD) workers and conventional gut community (CV) workers and compared the mortality rates and the pesticide residue levels of GD and CV workers treated with thiacloprid or tau-fluvalinate. Our results showed that gut microbiota promotes the expression of P450 enzymes in the midgut, and the mortality rate and pesticide residue levels of GD workers are significantly higher than those of CV workers. Further comparisons between tetracycline-treated workers and untreated workers demonstrated that antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis leads to attenuated expression of P450s in the midgut. The co-treatment of antibiotics and pesticides leads to reduced survival rate and a significantly higher amount of pesticide residues in honey bees. Taken together, our results demonstrated that honey bee gut symbiont could contribute to bee health through the modification of the host xenobiotics detoxification pathways and revealed a potential negative impact of antibiotics to honey bee detoxification ability and health.
Project description:Beekeepers providing pollination services for California almond orchards have reported observing dead or malformed brood during and immediately after almond bloom-effects that they attribute to pesticide exposure. The objective of this study was to test commonly used insecticides and fungicides during almond bloom on honey bee larval development in a laboratory bioassay. In vitro rearing of worker honey bee larvae was performed to test the effect of three insecticides (chlorantraniliprole, diflubenzuron, and methoxyfenozide) and three fungicides (propiconazole, iprodione, and a mixture of boscalid-pyraclostrobin), applied alone or in insecticide-fungicide combinations, on larval development. Young worker larvae were fed diets contaminated with active ingredients at concentration ratios simulating a tank-mix at the maximum label rate. Overall, larvae receiving insecticide and insecticide-fungicide combinations were less likely to survive to adulthood when compared to the control or fungicide-only treatments. The insecticide chlorantraniliprole increased larval mortality when combined with the fungicides propiconazole or iprodione, but not alone; the chlorantraniliprole-propiconazole combination was also found to be highly toxic to adult workers treated topically. Diflubenzuron generally increased larval mortality, but no synergistic effect was observed when combined with fungicides. Neither methoxyfenozide nor any methoxyfenozide-fungicide combination increased mortality. Exposure to insecticides applied during almond bloom has the potential to harm honey bees and this effect may, in certain instances, be more damaging when insecticides are applied in combination with fungicides.
Project description:The microsporidia Nosema ceranae are intracellular parasites that proliferate in the midgut epithelial cells of honey bees (Apis mellifera). To analyze the pathological effects of those microsporidia, we orally infected honey bee workers 7 days after their emergence. Bees were flash frozen 15 days after the infection. Then, the effects on the gut ventriculi were analyzed and compared to non-infected (control) bees. Overall design: Comparisons of control vs Nosema ceranae bees
Project description:The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses.
Project description:Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Honey bees are exposed to phytochemicals through the nectar, pollen and propolis consumed to sustain the colony. They may also encounter mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fungi infesting pollen in beebread. Moreover, bees are exposed to agricultural pesticides, particularly in-hive acaricides used against the parasite Varroa destructor. They cope with these and other xenobiotics primarily through enzymatic detoxificative processes, but the regulation of detoxificative enzymes in honey bees remains largely unexplored. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used several approaches to ascertain effects of dietary toxins on bee susceptibility to synthetic and natural xenobiotics, including the acaricide tau-fluvalinate, the agricultural pesticide imidacloprid, and the naturally occurring mycotoxin aflatoxin. We administered potential inducers of cytochrome P450 enzymes, the principal biochemical system for Phase 1 detoxification in insects, to investigate how detoxification is regulated. The drug phenobarbital induces P450s in many insects, yet feeding bees with phenobarbital had no effect on the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate, a pesticide known to be detoxified by bee P450s. Similarly, no P450 induction, as measured by tau-fluvalinate tolerance, occurred in bees fed xanthotoxin, salicylic acid, or indole-3-carbinol, all of which induce P450s in other insects. Only quercetin, a common pollen and honey constituent, reduced tau-fluvalinate toxicity. In microarray comparisons no change in detoxificative gene expression was detected in phenobarbital-treated bees. However, northern blot analyses of guts of bees fed extracts of honey, pollen and propolis showed elevated expression of three CYP6AS P450 genes. Diet did not influence tau-fluvalinate or imidacloprid toxicity in bioassays; however, aflatoxin toxicity was higher in bees consuming sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup than in bees consuming honey. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that regulation of honey bee P450s is tuned to chemicals occurring naturally in the hive environment and that, in terms of toxicological capacity, a diet of sugar is not equivalent to a diet of honey.
Project description:Honey bees are important agricultural pollinators that rely on a specific gut microbiota for the regulation of their immune system and defense against pathogens. Environmental stressors that affect the bee gut microbial community, such as antibiotics and glyphosate, can indirectly compromise bee health. Most of the experiments demonstrating these effects have been done under laboratory conditions with pure chemicals. Here, we investigated the oral and topical effects of various concentrations of glyphosate in a herbicide formulation on the honey bee gut microbiota and health under laboratory and field conditions. Under all of these conditions, the formulation, dissolved in sucrose syrup or water, affected the abundance of beneficial bacteria in the bee gut in a dose-dependent way. Mark-recapture experiments also demonstrated that bees exposed to the formulation were more likely to disappear from the colony, once reintroduced after exposure. Although no visible effects were observed for hives exposed to the formulation in field experiments, challenge trials with the pathogen Serratia marcescens, performed under laboratory conditions, revealed that bees from hives exposed to the formulation exhibited increased mortality compared with bees from control hives. In the field experiments, glyphosate was detected in honey collected from exposed hives, showing that worker bees transfer xenobiotics to the hive, thereby extending exposure and increasing the chances of exposure to recently emerged bees. These findings show that different routes of exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide can affect honey bees and their gut microbiota.IMPORTANCE The honey bee gut microbial community plays a vital role in immune response and defense against opportunistic pathogens. Environmental stressors, such as the herbicide glyphosate, may affect the gut microbiota, with negative consequences for bee health. Glyphosate is usually sprayed in the field mixed with adjuvants, which enhance herbicidal activity. These adjuvants may also enhance undesired effects in nontargeted organisms. This seems to be the case for glyphosate-based herbicide on honey bees. As we show in this study, oral exposure to either pure glyphosate or glyphosate in a commercial herbicide formulation perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees, and topical exposure to the formulation also has a direct effect on honey bee health, increasing mortality in a dose-dependent way and leaving surviving bees with a perturbed microbiota. Understanding the effects of herbicide formulations on honey bees may help to protect these important agricultural pollinators.
Project description:Information concerning the pathogenic role of honey bee viruses in invasive species are still scarce. The aim of this investigation was to assess the presence of several honey bee viruses, such as Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV), Slow Paralysis Virus (SPV), Sac Brood Virus (SBV), Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV), Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV), in Vespa velutina specimens collected in Italy during 2017. Results of this investigation indicate that among pathogens, replicative form of KBV and BQCV were detected, assessing the spillover effect of both these viruses from managed honey bees to hornets.
Project description:The microsporidia Nosema ceranae are intracellular parasites that proliferate in the midgut epithelial cells of honey bees (Apis mellifera). To analyze the pathological effects of those microsporidia, we orally infected honey bee workers 7 days after their emergence. Bees were flash frozen 15 days after the infection. Then, the effects on the gut ventriculi were analyzed and compared to non-infected (control) bees. Comparisons of control vs Nosema ceranae bees